Mixing Sarsawati with Laxmi

I recently read an interesting piece of news. Mumbai University might be listed on BSE and a retail investor can trade stocks of university. Sounds unusal, yes it is indeed unusal. There has been a hot debate going on on the campus about the positives and negatives of it, but I think, discussing about it, dreaming about it is totally different than actually implementing it. First, implementing it will be a mammoth task given the government control over it and then there is a question of advantages of such a move. The proponents claim that they can garner huge amount of corpus by public listing and can use it to push the university to higher levels. I have strong doubts, though the idea is interseting. A university can never be modelled on the lines of profit making business. A company can grow fast and move fast, benefitting its shareholders, but not a unversity. The biggest fallout could be commercialization of the courses. The authorities, bounded by vision of increasing shareholder's profit, would be bound to keep the courses only which has higher demand. There are lot of other negatives I can see when the prime motive for the univesity is to increase the profits. The article truly sums up by saying "Why mix Saraswati with Lakshmi?" Why, indeed.

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